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National interest in the foreign policy of Malaysia : The Mahathir era (1981 - 2003)


Syed Hamid, S. Jaafar Albar (2014) National interest in the foreign policy of Malaysia : The Mahathir era (1981 - 2003). Doctoral thesis, Asia e University.

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Abstract

This research examined the relationship between the National Interest (NI) and the formulation and decision-making of the Foreign Policy (FP) of Malaysia. The study adopted a ‗qualitative and descriptive‘ methodology by examining the postures, initiatives and outcomes, in the steady evolution of the FP of Malaysia since independence in 1957. Previous literature on the FP of Malaysia had primarily focussed on the administration, personality and character traits of Tun Mahathir, domestic factors and the international environment that shaped the policy. This study focused instead on the core values of the NI, as the independent variable that drove the FP, the dependent variable, to achieve positive FP outcomes for Malaysia. It also looked into the FP to the value of being principled, consistent and pragmatic. Both the NI and FP indicated change and continuity.In order to understand the NI and the outcomes of the FP, the criteria of relevance; domestic consensus and external acceptance as enunciated by Peter Drulák (2010) was also applied. The analysis pointed to the multifarious factors that influenced the FP premised on the NI that touched on the question of defence / security, economic, societal interests and ideological values as expounded by Nuechterlein (1978). The objectives of the NI in general term was to protect the independence, sovereignty, well-being of the citizens, the unity and harmony of the diverse society of Malaysia; hence the FP was determined accordingly. The FP during the period of Tun Mahathir was nationalistic, activist, assertive, and profiled; which had made Malaysia a leader of the South, Islamic Ummah, East Asia including ASEAN and placed Malaysia to be considered a middle power country and on the map of the world. The FP was also related to the beliefs of Tun Mahathir that the international system was lopsided and leaned too much to the developed countries, hence his continuous call for the global order to be fair and just. Finally the thesis concluded that FP was utilised as the tool to promote and defend the NI in the domain of economics, politic, security and societal interests and imperatives for the survival of Malaysia.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: School of Management
Depositing User: Ms Nur Liyana Abd Halil
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2017 09:10
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2017 09:39
URI: http://ur.aeu.edu.my/id/eprint/108

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